Millennium Post

PM, Sonia congratulates Anand as accolades pour in

The nation on Wednesday paid rich tributes to Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anands for retaining the World Championship title with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi congratulating the chess legend and calling him an 'inspiration' to the youth.

Congratulating Anand, Singh said in a message, "You are a great inspiration to the youth of our country, particularly the sports enthusiasts. You have made the nation proud of you with this monumental achievement."

The Prime Minister wished Anand many more successes in the future.

Sonia Gandhi called Anand's feat as 'stupendous'.

'Anand has made India proud. His feat of winning the title consecutively for the fourth time is indeed stupendous,' Gandhi said in her message.

The Indian Grandmaster showed immense resilience to beat challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel in a tense rapid chess tie-breaker to win the World Championship crown for the fifth time and fourth in a row in Moscow on Wednesday.

Speaking on Ananda's win, Rajendra S Pawar, Chairman, NIIT said, "I heartily congratulate NIIT MindChampion Viswanathan Anand for retaining the World Chess Champion title. Anand's fifth World Chess Championship win is a new FIDE record and a milestone in the history of Chess."

'Anand's fighting spirit, perseverance and determination to overcome any challenge will surely inspire youngsters in India to embrace the game of chess. NIIT remains committed to promote Chess in schools in India, through NIIT MindChampions' Academy, our joint initiative with Viswanathan Anand,' added Pawar. Anand is a brand ambassador for NIIT.

'He has brought laurels to the country and I thank him for that. He is the best sportsperson the country has. He has showed time and again his consistency. It was a cliffhanger and he made it finally, that's what matters,' Maken said.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh said Anand's win is bigger than any other sporting triumphs.

'I think talking about the magnitude of this celebration, I was telling that when Anand wins the crown, the country should come out on to the streets and celebrate it bigger than any World Cup victory,' Shah Rukh said.

This is the first time Anand has been pushed to the tiebreaker and GM Parimarjan Negi said it was taxing.

'I think it was really taxing especially on their psychological stages and he has been pushed long. But it's good that it finished before the blitz matches,' Negi said.

'Most of time when I have tournaments they go on for 9 days and it makes you feel like you have spent a month staying in the same place. This ran for 20 days and it will seem like almost a year,' he added.

Woman grandmaster Tania Sachdev Chess said Anand has control over toughest of situations.

'What separates him from the other top players of the world is that he has extreme control over his nerves and his mind. No matter what the situation is, he never really loses control,' Sachdev said.

GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly described it as the toughest battle for Anand.

'We can say this is the best win for Anand. Our six months' preparation was successful. By winning the title fifth time, Anand once again proved himself to be the best sportperson from India,' Ganguly said from Moscow.

IOA's acting president V K Malhotra called it a "remarkable" achievement.

'It's a remarkable achievement. He has achieved so much for the country and I wish him many more successes in the years to come,' Malhotra said.

According to GM Nilotpal Das, Anand has again become a strong contender for the Bharat Ratna.

'I don't think any other Indian sportperson has achieved so much in different formats as Anand. Once again he has become a strong contender for Bharat Ratna. Undoubtedly, he is the greatest. He has proved world champion in various formats. This year he proved his supremacy again when the format changed to championship match between the defending champion and a challenger. I rank him higher than (Gary) Kasparov as I think it's become very competitive nowadays,' said he.

GM Sandipan Chanda called him the greatest.

'We all expected him to win but it was very tense and exciting all the way. It could go either way. Winning the world championships four times in a row, and five times overall, is not easy. He is the greatest. The greatest asset of Anand is he knows his priority. He is incredibly fast in taking decisions.'

Woman grandmaster Mary Ann Gomes, who recently finished runner-up in 11th Asian Continental Individual Women's Chess Championship in Vietnam, felt Anand held his nerves.

'The way he came back winning after losing the seventh round (in classical games) speaks a lot about Anand.'

'There is a lot of stress when you approach the end games but he held his nerves. I don't want to say he is the greatest sportperson as it will take credit away from the others. But yes, he has made a place for himself, forever.'

WGM Nisha Mohta said, 'We always knew he would do it. But things were not favourable after seven rounds in the classical games. It was great for him to make a comeback (winning the eighth). Watching all the rounds were a delight. But the winning moment came in the third game when Anand managed to draw from a difficult position.'

IM Atanu Lahiri, Commonwealth Chess champion 1999 and convener of West Bengal Chess Association, said, 'It (the match) showed some classical chess with high standards. Gelfand showed his creativity. We are really happy for Anand but at the same time salute him for giving a great fight.'

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